, or sudden illness. as we kick off our "food for bay area families" drive, cbs 5 reporter john ramos shows us the importance of food banks. >> just living life. we're just trying to, you know, stay afloat. >> reporter: being a single mother is tough enough in a city like oakland. but when michelle campbell mateo lost her apartment and then her job, she suddenly had to worry about providing enough food for her daughter. >> my family is myself and my daughter and that's it. but that's our family. and we have basic needs. >> reporter: she sought help near at the alameda county community food bank and michelle is not alone. >> we're serving one in six alameda county residents. that's 49,000 people a week. >> reporter: one in six people in alameda county? >> yes. >> reporter: donated food is collected here, boxed up and distributed to people by 275 different agencies in the county. there is no income requirement. food goes to anyone who asks. and the need is growing. each month 10% of the requests for help are coming from first- time callers. michelle says getting back on track is hard when you'